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Our Committee

Find out more about the leadership team and why they joined the committee. Perhaps you’ll feel inspired to join one day too.

President
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Noel Fitzpatrick
Noel is a founding member of the Australian Truffle Growers Association.

He is the founder and director of Truffle Growing Pty Ltd, an industry focused company, providing consultancy, new project design and farm establishment services as well as educational programs to growers.

Noel was awarded an International Specialised Skills Institute Fellowship in 2008 and travelled to Europe to study truffle culture with researchers, scientists and growers in Italy, France and Spain, also attending the Spoleto International Truffle Congress. Noel returned to Europe in 2016 for further studies and continues to collaborate with researchers.

Professional Activities and Associations
  • Australian Truffle Growers Association founding member, past Vice President, current President.
  • Industry consultant: Providing a broad range of services to established growers and new industry entrants.
  • Industry trainer: Co-delivering regular seminars in the eastern states of Australia.
  • Keynote Speaker at functions and conferences relative to the Australian Truffle Industry.
  • International presentations for Australian Truffle Industry in USA, NZ, Italy, France & Spain.
  • Columnist in the Australian Tree Crop magazine.

Noel operates his own farm in south east Gippsland, Victoria. The farm is primarily focused on truffle agri-tourism and education.
Vice President
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Colin Carter
Colin Carter has had a career in horticulture spanning forty years. 

Whilst teaching horticulture at Swinburne University in 2008 Colin was awarded an International Specialised Skills Institute Fellowship and travelled to Europe to study truffle culture.

Colin now runs a family operated business, Trufficulture, which is a special propagator of truffle inoculated trees. They also propagate commercial varieties of hazelnuts, with and without truffles.
Secretary
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Neil O'Grady

Neil and his wife Jill established their truffière on their farm “Red Ground” in Oberon, NSW in 2016. They planted inoculated oak and pine trees hosting Tuber Melanosporum, Tuber Aestivum and Tuber Borchii species. 

Neil became Secretary of the Association in 2019 after a career spanning over 45 years in the financial services sector. During his time in financial services, Neil has held senior executive roles in banking, international trade finance and foreign exchange, financial planning and business consulting.

More recently he was a partner and director of Business Blades Pty Ltd, a consulting firm providing business improvement frameworks to financial institutions and accounting peak bodies in Australia.

Neil now concentrates his time and attention to his farm and the Oberon community. Neil is heavily involved in the local sporting club and charity fund raising events, as well as suicide prevention and mental health awareness, something he feels strongly about which affects rural NSW famers and their families.

With a wealth of experience in strategic planning and business improvement strategies, Neil enjoys his role on the ATGA committee and looks forward to the growth and development of the Association.

Qualifications:
  • Diploma of Financial Services (Financial Planning)
  • Diploma of International Trade Finance
  • Tier 2 General Advice Deposit Products
  • Tier 2 General Insurance

Treasurer
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Paul Robinson

Paul Robinson and wife, Rose Yeoman, purchased a 32 hectare farm in the Middlesex Valley, southeast of Manjimup in 2008 and planted a 5 hectare truffière (Silverwood Truffles) comprising oaks and hazel trees in November 2009 with first production in the winter of 2013. Paul and Rose have focused on soil and tree health, and truffle quality. 

Silverwood also rears prime beef cattle. Paul trained as a geologist and has a background in research and industry. He has owned and operated technical and advisory consultancies. He has served on private and listed company boards. 

He was member of the Board of Management for Truffle Kerfuffle and on the Committee of Management for Truffle Producers WA. Rose and Paul have been members of ATGA since 2010. Rose was the ATGA WA rep from 2010-2012. Paul has been ATGA's Treasurer since 2018.
VIC State Representative
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Jenny McAuley

Jenny McAuley started Red Hill Truffles in 2005. The initial 350 truffle trees, a mixture of oaks and hazelnuts, were bought from Tasmania, and first produced truffle in 2010. Jenny subsequently planted an additional 2300 trees. Planting completed in 2015. The majority of trees are inoculated with Tuber melanasporum, however there are also small plantings of Tuber aestevium and Tuber borchii.

Jenny now runs a busy truffle farm business, providing truffle hunts and tastings throughout the season in her specially designed truffle tasting pavilion. Jenny supplies truffles to local restaurants on the Mornington Peninsula, some city restaurants, as well as opening a farmgate to sell fresh truffle and a range of truffle products.

Jenny joined the ATGA Committee as the Victorian representative in 2019.
NSW State Representative
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Damian Robinson

Damian started his career as a Sound Engineer and music composer in Sydney in the 1990s.

In 2001 he moved to the country near Bungendore, NSW with his wife Lindsay and 3 small children to manage their family’s cattle business. In 2003 they saw the opportunity to plant inoculated Black French truffles which at the time were an experiment crop. 15 years later he has 2000 trees producing over 100kg of truffles each season.

During the truffle season they hold regular public truffle hunts, truffle lunches and brunches on their property which are booked out months in advance.

Damian is a founding member of the Truffle Festival Association and sits on the commitee of The Australian Truffle Growers Association as the NSW representative.
SA State Representative
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Katherine Faull

Katherine works within the health and medical research industry but has a strong interest in natural resource management, and the management and ecology of her infant truffière in the Adelaide Hills. 

Katherine also has research interests in the role agritourism can play in the promotion of human and environmental health and sustainability, through nature connection.
TAS State Representative
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Marcus Jessup

Marcus Jessup is a builder by trade who enjoys the great outdoors and the farming way of life. Marcus became involved in truffles by default in 1997, when his family decided to invest in this new and untapped industry, taking a gamble as truffles were yet to be grown in Australia.

Marcus now runs and manages Tamer Valley Truffles in Tasmania, which has been producing truffles since 2004.
WA State Representative
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Jeff Anderson

In 2008, following a 30-year IT career in Canberra and Sydney, Jeff (and Janet) left the city and headed west for a tree change, arriving on their 24-ha property near the small village of Northcliffe in south-west Western Australia. In late 2009, they planted 600 oaks, trained their dog in truffle hunting, and set about understanding truffle farming practices. 

Jeff and Janet travelled around the southwest corner with their dog hunting for truffles on other properties until production on their own place meant dedicating their resources to their own farm.

Jeff joined the ATGA committee in 2017 and was chairperson of the Biosecurity sub-committee from 2018 to 2019.
Committee Member
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Wayne Haslam

Wayne has almost 20 years involvement in the Australian truffle industry and has been harvesting since 2007. He was instrumental in the establishment of the peak body in 2006, the Australian Truffle Growers Association, and was the inaugural President until 2010 and has continued as a serving committee member. 

 He has continued his contribution to the industry with his involvement in the establishment of the Canberra Region Truffle Festival in 2009, now in its 13th year, and the first Australian truffle marketing cooperative in 2016, trading as ‘EAT Truffle’, (Eastern Australian Tablelands Truffle).
Committee Member
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Adam Wilson

Adam has been at the forefront of the Australian Olive Oil and the Australian Truffle industries for over 20 years.

Adam is the owner of Great Southern Truffles and has been pioneering local Australian and international markets exporting fresh Australian truffles since 2007 while creating a range of value-added truffle products available across Australia and into over 15 International markets.

Our Employees

Our employees are crucial to the operation and development of our association.

Communications
communications@trufflegrowers.com.au
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Fiona Favro

Fiona has a passion for property and has been self-employed in a multi award winning Sydney construction and development company for 28 years. The company is also being accepted onto the selective Northern Beaches Council Trade Panel as a preferred contractor.

Having extensive experience in all aspects of small business management, and am well versed on Council submissions, tender documents, development, and planning requirements, Fiona has shared this knowledge with various committees that she has been a part of over the years.

Fiona enjoys communicating with people and always invite the experience of learning new skills, gaining knowledge and working as part of a team and with a plan to purchase acreage and start our own truffière this led her to ATGA and the role of Communications officer.

In total contrast to her busy city life, when Fiona and her husband are not developing, spending precious time with their grandkids or walking their dogs, they will be somewhere in the wilderness racing mountain bikes.